Great Himalayan National Park
Photo Credit-Wikimedia Commons
Bounded to the East by the Himalayan Mountains, the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) forms part of the boundary between four ecological zones.
- the dry deserts of the trans-Himalayan region and the well-watered lowlands of the Indian plains,
- the Oriental and Pale artic faunal realms,
- the high plateau of Tibet and the jumbled Himalayan peaks, and the catchments of Beas and the Sutlej Rivers
Because its complex geography and its great variation in altitude, the limited area of the Park encompasses an enormous range of species, which span the sub-tropical to the alpine and include characteristics of the south-east Asian forests as well as those found across Siberia Asian steppes. Few ecological sanctuaries present such a variety of wildlife habitat and biological diversity in such a small area.
From the road head at Gushaini or Neuli, the trails leading to the park pass through subtropical pine forests. They rise towards the dense coniferous and mixed deciduous woods of the temperature zone, which is entered at about 1800m. In summer the spreading canopy of green and silver oaks and horse chestnuts provide welcome relief from the sun. Above this zone, at about 2500m, cool-temperate forests of fir and spruce occur on northerly slopes with brown oaks on southerly aspects. Above 3000m, one finds alpine meadows, splashed with a great variety of flowers and again in the realm of rock and ice in high peaks and ridges.
Getting to GHNP-The Kullu Valley region of Himachal Pradesh State is the starting point for a visit to GHNP. This region is accessible by road and air. A pre-trek meeting at GHNP headquarters in Shashmi (near Kullu) is recommended.
By air- Daily flight from Delhi to Kullu ( Bhuntar), weather permitting.
By road- From Delhi: Approximately 500km ( 14+ hours )
General Route-Delhi to Chandigarh by National Highway 1, then to Aut in Mandi district by NH21. Chandigarh and Swarghat are suitable overnight halting places. From the small town of Aut, a link road crosses the Beas river into the Banjar Valley, where the Park is located.
Approximate distance from GHNP:
Airport: Bhuntar (Kullu)-50km
Railhead: Joginder Nagar (Mandi)-100km
Town: Kullu (District HQ)-60km
Many visitors are drawn to the mountains and the wildlife of the Park. The indigenous culture of the mountain villages, adjacent to the Park, also offers unique experiences for the travelers. There are lot many species of animals and birds found in this National Park. The flora of GHNP shows affinities with Mediterranean, Tibetan, and the Peninsular Indian region.
Entrance fee-As per the latest directions for entry into Great Himalayan National Park.